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A sequel to Mockingjays Epilouge
My eyes open in a slow heavy awakening, my heart slowly fluttering at the sound of his voice-deep, rich, and full of love-carefully cooing at me to go back to sleep. With much force I open my eyes and stare at him, his blond hair brushed carelessly to the side, a smile slowly creeping on his face, he puts two fingers to his lips motioning for me to be quiet. I smile back at him and do my best to wink with my eyes still in that half-awake and half-asleep trance-an action that ultimately fails.
I silently whisper under my breath as he moves outside into the hall, in a matter of second a heavenly smell of baking breads that playfully dances around me gets me out of bed.
"Smells good. How did you sleep?"
I grab a mug and poor just plain black coffee into it; it will give me the stamina I need to get through the day. I look out the window into the sea of green grass, blowing to one side and another from the wind, gray clouds piling up and turning darker shades of gray.
"I slept well, how about you?"
He asked while pulling out his freshly baked bread and putting it on plates with butter, his eyes met mine and I looked down at my feet and blushed with a quick smile. How come he was always worried about me?
"I slept well, yes. Storm huh?"
I looked at him and we held a steady gaze for a full minute before completely breaking down into a full chorus of laughs.
"I hate small talk."
I had learned to take things more gently and to laugh more a couple years after The Games.
He went back to his baking, sometimes Peeta was an open book, and other times a chapter to be written.
"What’s going on?"
Their small figures and white nighties moved liked ghosts while they stood there, eyeing their daddy’s bread. Her long black hair was swept into a lazy low ponytail that highlighted her brilliant blue eyes, her hourglass figure and long skinny arms/legs-taking after me-held her brother on the side of her hip and curiously stared at us. Her brother’s chubby toddler legs were dangling at her side and he was sticking his fist into his mouth blowing bubbles, his blond curly hair flipping at the side to show his gray eyes shining like stars-he looked so much like Peeta, it was uncanny. I ran and gave them a gentle kiss on the cheek as there smiles started to grow on their faces-slowly and gently.
Peeta gave my long braid a gentle tug and I responded with a playful smile.
"Mommy, how come the clouds are black?"
"No reason dear, just a warning that a storm is brewing and will be here soon.”
“A storm! May I go out and play?”
I shot his sister a questioning look and she rolled her eyes while also grabbing a glass of juice. She was the age I was when I went into The Games, her innocence was not being tested, her life in danger, everything she knew and cherished on the line, sometimes I envy her, but mostly I wonder how I could have never wanted her.
“Mother, can I go into town tomorrow?”
I anxiously stare outside.
“Father, may I go into town tomorrow?”
Peeta smile at me and I cast my daughter dagger eyes.
“Please, my Sweet Sixteen is coming and I want to make a beautiful dress.”
“If the weather is well, then yes.”
I looked down at my coffee, then at Peeta.
“Your father and I have something to tell you later.”
Her face brightens and looks at both of us; it was not going to be the same way when we were done talking to her.
“Eat your bread.”
“Mom! Dad! I’m here; you wanted to tell me something?”
We were in the living room with hot steamy mugs, staring at the rain as it poured down and hit the windows. I was wondering if he was thinking about the night in the cave as I was, so much has changed in so little time. I looked at her; her hair was jet-black and curling at the edges as it always does when she gets it wet, and her lips were turning blue and chattering. I grabbed a blanket and threw it over her while showing her to a fire.
“Thank you. I am freezing.”
And she grabbed a warm mug made for her, it was a real treat whenever she got coffee, and smiled while taking her first few sips.
“Now what did you want to tell me?”
I took a deep breath and motioned for Peeta to begin.
“Now, your mother and I believe that you are at the right age-the age that we were at when our lives changed-and that you will handle this with maturity and grace, please let us finish and do not interrupt.”
He looked at me and I was silent for a mere second thinking how good of an idea was this? But I cleared my throat and began.
“When we were sixteen, our lives changed forever-“
She rolled her eyes and took another sip of coffee.
“I know, I know. You met dad and fell in love. Is that all you wanted to tell me?”
I waited very patiently and she immediately found her mistake in interrupting me.
She muttered while scooting a little more into her blanket.
“Yes, that is what we have been telling you, but it isn’t the whole truth.”
And we told her everything: President Snow, The Hunger Games, Prim, the capitol, Gale, Haymitch and Eiffy, the wild-flower, even the book. After we were done she sat there, her face pale and trying to understand everything. She finally shook her head and stood up.
“That’s horrible. You were only sixteen, and…..and….Uncle Gale……Aunt Prim….you faked loving daddy, but then you did...Dad, your memory…….I…….I…….need a walk.”
I stood up as she grabbed her jacket in an angry rush.
“I know it’s a lot to take in, but we thought you had the right to know, how you came about, how the world almost was, how everything had changed.”
She stood there her back turned at us; I could hear her trying-and failing-to suppress sobs. I held her in my arms the same way that Peeta did whenever I had nightmares on the train, and when she was a little girl running from the monsters. She finally turned to us, her blue eyes pink and swollen, and her face shiny and full of confusion, I instantly wished we hadn’t told her, but I knew she must know.
“My parents changed the world, without them, I would be dead, my brother would dead. How did you get this courage?”
“Shhhhh, come now; it’s over, it’s okay, come back inside.”
She became firm again and stood up in my arms.
“No, I have to go, I have to find answers. I am so confused right now, I need a break. I love you.”
And she kissed my cheek and started to run. I suppose I could have started to run off after her, but she was right, she needed to be alone. So I started to walk back to the house, wondering how time had just slipped by us, and how I could have let her go?